Nonprofit Focuses on Developing Young Tabasco EntrepreneursTue, 01/21/2020 - 16:25
Q: What motivated the creation of JET Fundación?
A: JET started about three years ago with the idea of promoting the creation of new businesses by young people between 18 and 30 years old. In Tabasco, we had experience founding companies in the infrastructure and oil and gas sectors, so we wanted to provide orientation for young people in that direction. We were convinced that Tabasco and Mexico’s general southeast region is going through a historic moment that will define our economic development for decades to come. Incorporating the younger generation into these processes is essential to guaranteeing the longevity and positive impact of these processes.
Q: What was the development process for JET’s capabilities and programs?
A: We began by designing a document that would become a kind of training manual for young entrepreneurs. This document would become the basis for the diploma program that we developed later. We signed a formal agreement of cooperation with CMIC Tabasco (Mexican Chamber of Construction Industry Tabasco) that allowed us to build a protocol to finance JET’s activities. Basically, we were able to take a portion of what CMIC members usually set aside for the purposes of training and direct it toward our activities, provided that it was routed exclusively toward the education of young entrepreneurs and the founding of their first ventures and companies. This financing scheme allowed us to build what we call the “JET Circle,” which has four phases. The first one covers the diploma program and all preliminary training; phase two covers the founding of the students’ first company; phase three covers these companies’ first contracts and phase four covers the later conformation of these companies into their first clusters.
Phase one begins with identifying individual’s potential and talents. Given the many all-encompassing needs of the oil and gas industry, we can provide an endless list of possibilities to these young people when it comes to what their choice of company will be. Everything from catering to extremely specialized technology has a role to play. Our training and diploma program will be relevant to them no matter what because it concerns the obstacles and challenges that all formalized and legally constitutional enterprises have to overcome in Mexico.
Once they have successfully gone through phase one and phase two, we work with the Government of Tabasco and other key players in the public and private sectors to enable the third phase so that everybody who successfully finishes the diploma program and forms their first company can be guaranteed the direct awarding of at least one contract.
Q: What contributions do you want JET to make to the development of Mexico’s oil and gas sector?
A: Our success in Tabasco could become the model we replicate in the 38 CMIC chambers nationwide, so the oil and gas sector would stand to gain a great deal from this kind of benchmarking. Through our current structure, we can provide this training and support completely free of charge to up to 40,000 young Mexicans by 2024. Speaking conservatively, if only half of those students initiate an enterprise that proves to be sustainable, we are talking about 20,000 new productive SMEs added to the national economy that all originated from a program originally based in the oil and gas sector and that are thus bound to it on some level or another. Ninety-five percent of companies in Mexico are SMEs. The country literally depends on them. We want to facilitate their creation and health by sharing all these resources with young people so that they can move past the hurdles that held us back. We want to do this in coordination with similar efforts in other institutions in the public and private sectors, not just companies and governments but also universities and youth centers.
One hundred young people have already graduated from two classes of our diploma program. We want an additional two classes to graduate by the end of 2019, so that starting in 2020 we can graduate a new class every three months.
Jóvenes Empresarios Tabasqueños (JET) is an independent and apolitical nonprofit foundation focused on promoting the development of Tabasco’s entrepreneurial youth through technical and legal training.